UNO-R Bacolod 'Justice for Marcos' video draws mixed reactions

The University of Negros Occidental Recoletos (UNO-R) Bacolod is under fire after a Marcos photo had gone viral. The University student Daniel Pollentes posted on his Facebook account showing the face of late President Marcos captioned "Justice for Marcos." 

 "This water mark are now playing in the UNOR lobby."Justice for Marcos." "Does this reflect school policy? I hope they don't forget to ask for justice for the 3k+ killed," written in Pollentes post.

In response, the University issued an apology to "those who feel insulted of the video," through the university publication Tolentine Star. However, the Director of the External Affairs clarifies the issue stating that the University is not Pro-Marcos and emphasizes context and intent of the video.

Read the rest of the note below released from the University Facebook Page

TRUTH OF THE MATTER. University Director of External Affairs Dr. Carlos Eduardo Legaspi, Jr., clarified his intention to educate people regarding speculation of a Pro-Marcos stance portrayed during a presentation of videos televised at the University Main Lobby, Sept. 28.

A turbulent barrage of netizens ensued after a student posted a photo which showed “Justice for Marcos” at the top right, which sparked controversy on the intention of the video indicating that the University is Pro-Marcos.

Civil Engineering student Daniel Pollentes posted on Facebook the screenshot with the caption of concern asking if the video reflected school policy and a reminder that 3,000 and more were killed during the Martial Law.

“[The intention was] to educate you [the students], because, if I ask [the students] now about what happened during Martial Law, [the students] can tell me one side of the coin. Now, I’m showing you the other side of the coin,” Legaspi said, regarding the utilization of the series of videos that focused on various events that transpired during Martial Law.

“It was all about Martial Law. The first video came from the yellow army, the second came from the victims of Martial Law, the third is about GMA Network telling you about what happened during Martial Law, the fourth is a fake video made by Marcos’ supporters. So, should we hide that? [People should] get the whole thing in context,” Legaspi added.

Netizens did not take the presentation lightly because of the underlying notion that the video represented. They continued to comment on various realities that existed during the Martial Law, particularly the state of malnutrition, suffering, and repression faced by the people under the Marcos regime.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines - Bacolod Chapter condemned the presentation of the video by stating how they were appalled by the showing of the videos, indicating that “It would be a grievous insult to the memory of UNO-R alumni and students who suffered under Marcos or who joined the struggle against tyranny at great sacrifice, including their very lives.”

Legaspi profusely apologized, reminding others that he is against Martial Law, and he only wanted to profess the reality of Martial Law, with an emphasis on contextualizing the situation and assessing it with a critical perspective. He did not deny the harsh conditions of the time and he did not take the matter lightly.

“This is part of our own history. When you see it you can distinguish which is real and unreal. So the school teaches you to decide which is real or unreal. But yet they continue to have these things on video. The objective of the university [to the students] is to make you aware socially and politically,” he said.

“If it gained reaction by people meaning to say there is education. But if it did not gain any reaction, there’s no education. It is not the intention of this office to tell you that Marcos is a Hero. It is just a presentation, an exposé of whatever is there on social media,” he added.

UNORSSGO President John Lewis Pabilona found the circumstance coincidental as the photo was taken just in time when a pro-Marcos video was playing. He believed that the video presentations were intended to do no harm and produce malice.

“If you were to ask me regarding my personal stance about the issue, I think the goal was correct. It was basically to educate the students regarding the Marcos regime but I think it was not the most effective way to present such information to the students and the UNO-R community,” Pabilona said.

He remarked that there should have been better conditions presented to draw clear context regarding the intent of the videos. For instance, the videos would only be seen by a bystander who would stay put and watch. No provision of chairs were present to ensure that the viewer takes the presentation in its entirety.

Pabilona further emphasized that the delivery of such education would have been done through other venues, rather than what was administered. “It could be done through seminars or formal symposiums but we cannot expect that we can educate people through videos in which are only being passed by in the lobby,” he said.

Pabilona further reiterated that people cannot control what happens on social media, especially if other people were to attempt to manipulate data.

“According to Pollentes’ caption, for me, it wasn’t even questioning anything but to present a matter that there is these videos in the UNO-R lobby. He didn’t state his opinion regarding the matter,” he said.

The publication reached out to Pollentes for his statement regarding the matter, but, as of press time, he has not given his comment.

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